When Should You Get Hernia Surgery?
If you have a hernia, you understand that living with one is not ideal. Living with a hernia can make tasks as simple as picking up a box a painful endeavor. Even so, many people delay treatment for much longer than they should, simply because they don’t want to get hernia surgery. Others aren’t totally sure whether or not they even need surgery!
You may have heard that not all hernias need repairing. For surgery-averse people, this may sound like the preferable route, but be careful: an unrepaired hernia can cause other issues.
So, when should you consider hernia surgery? And what happens if you don’t get a hernia treated?
What is a Hernia?
A hernia occurs when an organ or tissue bulges through an abnormal opening, usually through a muscle wall. An abdominal hernia, one of the most common types, occurs when a piece of tissue protrudes from a weakened muscle that holds the abdomen together. Most abdominal hernias occur in the groin, belly button, and diaphragm.
Hernia Symptoms and When to See a Doctor
If you are experiencing what you think may be a hernia, be sure to visit your doctor as soon as possible. Getting a diagnosis is your first step to recovery. While not all hernias are serious, you shouldn’t take the chance. Different hernias will cause different symptoms, but common hernia symptoms include:
- Pain and aching around the belly-button or groin area.
- A bulge in the groin, belly button or diaphragm. The bulge may appear suddenly or gradually. These types of hernias can develop after lifting weights, coughing, bending, straining, or even laughing.
- Sudden pain, nausea or vomiting. These symptoms usually occur when part of the intestine becomes trapped in the hernia, and should be treated immediately.
You Have a Hernia – Should You Get Hernia Surgery?
Your options in this situation are to get the hernia repaired right away, even if it doesn’t bother you, or to wait and risk the hernia growing or becoming dangerous.
Small, asymptomatic hernias that don’t bother you much may be fine to leave. However, there is still the chance that they will grow or become painful. If your hernia is large or painful, you should get it surgically repaired as soon as you can. If there is no reason to live with the pain, why do it?
Avoiding a Medical Emergency
Aside from living with unnecessary pain, your doctor may recommend surgery to avoid a dangerous condition called strangulation. Strangulation occurs when a loop of intestine or piece of fatty tissue gets caught in the hernia. When trapped, the tissue loses its blood supply and dies off.
If you experience this condition, you need immediate surgery to avoid tissue death. It is better to receive preventative surgery than to risk losing part of your intestine.
Ultimately, the decision is up to you. However, we do recommend that you get the opinion of your doctor. Even if you are comfortable living with your hernia, your doctor may see it fit to repair.
If you suspect you have a hernia or would like to know more about your options, contact Advanced Surgical and Bariatrics of NJ and PA to schedule an appointment!